contributed by Pam Zimmer
Are you thinking about hosting a concert at your church in the near future? Have you thought about how your congregation will pay for the concert? These are some of the questions that I have been thinking about recently as we prepare for our youth Sunday Kick-off. We are delighted to have booked a popular Christian musician but are in fierce debate as to how we should cover the cost.
Christian musicians with their more mainstream musical stylings are becoming exceptionally popular youth programming additions. This is largely due to the musical guests present at Quakes and Gatherings. The surprise on the faces of my youth at national when Skillet began to play was priceless. “but their on the radio! On K-Rock!” Yes, Skillet, Agape, Rachel Kurtz, and the many other Christian artists out there are quickly becoming unrecognizable from their secular peers, save for their lyrics of hope and love. This allows youth leaders to find a new venue to share the grace of Jesus Christ in a manner that can only be described as “cool”.
But back to our original discussion, Christian musicians have to eat too, so of course there is going to be a fee for their services along with supplying room and board for them as many have travelled long distances. So where should that fee come from? Should the church absorb the entire thing as a part of its ministry costs? Should an admission fee be charged to all who attend as it is a concert, or should only a free will offering be taken?
Each of these solutions has both positives and negatives, for example, if the church incurs the cost, is there money in the budget for it? What is the cap on such expenditures and what other budget lines might suffer? And who ultimately gets to make the selection of artist if the money isn’t coming from the youth budget? If we decide to charge an admission fee, who might not attend because they cannot afford the cost? And if we take a free will offering what do we do if we don’t take in enough? or on the flip side, where does the money go if we take in too much? To the artist? to the church?
As we try to incorporate more fresh material into our ministry to avoid program atrophy, these are some of the questions we need to discuss. So let’s here from you. Who are the favorite Christian Music artists of your youth program, have you brought them into your church and how did your church process the cost?